Five Rivers MetroParks is accepting nominations for its third annual OUTstanding Teacher Award, open to Dayton-area classroom educators who teach any subject from pre-K through high school. Nominations are due Tuesday, Jan. 31. The award includes three nomination categories:Rising Star (less than 10 years of teaching experience), Leader (10 to 20 years), Lifetime Achievement (more than 20 years)
- Kit with plants selected for winning teachers’ schools
- Environmental Education Council of Ohio membership (includes money to use toward the 101 Conference held at Camp Kern the first weekend of October)
- A one-year membership to the Cox Arboretum Foundation and a field trip to Cox Arboretum MetroPark for the winning teachers’ class (includes transportation).
- Outdoor educational materials to assist in connecting students to the environment
Funded through the James M. Cox Jr. Arboretum Foundation, the award is for teachers providing students with outdoor, environmental experiences that inspire interest in and positive attitudes about nature.
“These awards are a chance to showcase teachers who explore classroom subject matter through outdoor experiences,” said Lauren Stayer Asquith, a Five Rivers MetroParks education specialist. “Children who experience nature on a regular basis tend to be healthier, happier and smarter, and we want to recognize teachers who understand that academic achievement and a connection to nature go hand-in-hand.”
Nominate a teacher by producing a video (less than five minutes long) or short written essay that answers the following:
- Why do you feel this teacher is deserving of the OUTstanding Teacher Award?
- In what ways does this teacher get students outside during the school day?
- In what ways does this teacher weave nature into the curriculum?
- Does this teacher get students outdoors after typical school hours? Please provide specifics.
- What are the most significant positive impacts the nominee has made on other teachers/ the school community?
OUTstanding Teacher Award
- How does this teacher utilize outdoor space at the school? Has he/she created or enhanced a green school yard?
- Why are you personally nominating this person?
Nominations can be submitted by completing an online form and either posting the video to YouTube or uploading the written essay. Information on judging criteria can be found online at metroparks.org/outstanding. Videos do not have to be professionally produced, as the content of the message is what will be judged.
Community volunteers with a background in outdoor education will judge the awards. Five Rivers MetroParks employees, The James M. Cox Jr. Arboretum Foundation board members, Wegerzyn Gardens Foundation board members, Friends of Carriage Hill board members, Five Rivers MetroParks Foundation board members, award judges and their immediate families are not eligible.